A new survey of the Los Angeles venture capital and tech community released Wednesday has found that white employees have a leg up on jobs through their personal networks and female tech employees continue to earn less than the national average, at 71 cents to their male counterparts' $1, among other findings.

The results were provided as part of the second annual survey by PledgeLA, an initiative created by the Annenberg Foundation and the mayor of Los Angeles to promote civic engagement and diversity within the tech community.

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Editor's note: This is the second in our series examining diversity in venture capital. Read the first and third stories in this series and sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates.

Entrepreneurs usually fall over each other for the chance to meet with people like Kobie Fuller, a partner at Upfront Ventures, one of Los Angeles' oldest and most prestigious venture firms, and a former investor at Accel, one of Silicon Valley's most well-known early-stage firms.

But Fuller, who is black, had become used to being overlooked at parties and mistaken for junior-level staff.

"I have been at network events where people don't know who I am, they assumed I was a random moron," he said. "They treat you like you are not in the room or you are some wait staff."

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At a virtual town hall held Thursday by dot.LA and PledgeLA to identify actions leaders in the L.A. tech and startup community can take now to break down racial barriers to jobs and capital, and to democratize economic opportunity for the region -- there were ultimately a robust number of questions asked and interest expressed around the issue, though tangible actions remain to be seen.

Nearly 30 years after the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, protesters across the U.S. gathered this time to march against systemic racism and violence faced by the black community after George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Across social media, tech companies in L.A. and beyond have posted and tweeted their support for #blacklivesmatter, muted their feeds, and opened their pocketbooks, while music companies took part in a blackout. Companies have also donated to various diversity, equity and inclusion causes, but it remains an open question as to what impact those efforts will have.

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